The story of William Jefferson Webb, better known as Billy Webb, begins with his parents. Hiram Webb and Mary Rebecca Blalock had met most likely in Franklin County, Tennessee, each making their way from North Carolina to their futures further west. They married around 1813 and had children in 1814, 1816, and 1820. In 1822, on July 1, while still living in South-Central Tennessee, Mary gave birth to William Jefferson Webb. The family moved to Marion County, Alabama at some point in the next seven years since the 1830 census recorded them there. They may have lived very close, if not on the border with Mississippi.
After Billy, Hiram and Mary Rebecca had eight more children. In 1838, while Billy was only 16 years old, Hiram was involved in a horrible accident at a stave mill in Itawamba County, Mississippi. Hiram's remains were buried practically on the spot, such was the result of the accident.
Mary Rebecca continued to raise the large family alone, living in Itawamba County in the 1840 census. They did not live too far from the Benjamin Reich family and at some point Billy met and fell in love with one of Benjamin's daughters, Antionette Maheli Reich, sometimes known as Mary but more commonly just Nettie. Nettie was five years Billy's junior, born in 1827 in North Carolina. By the time she met Billy, she had traveled from North Carolina to Indiana and then down to Mississippi.
They were married on July 20, 1845, in Itawamba County by the minister A.G. Lane. Billy was 23 and Nettie was 17. Looking at the tombstone dates of their eldest child, Martha, it appears that the couple was not married until their first child was one year, five days old! Though tombstone dates are notoriously bad for determining actual birth dates, the census records do show that Martha was already five by the 1850 census, so the wedding, if not very tardy, may have been forced by the youngsters' parents.
In 1847, Billy's mother Mary Rebecca finally remarried at the age of 52 to John H. Paschal. The "newlyweds" lived just five houses away from Billy and Nettie in the 1850 census. By 1850 Billy and Nettie had three children: Martha Webb; David D. Webb, born October 21st, 1847; and Benjamin L. Webb, born Nov. 4th, 1849.
In 1850 the parents and first three children were living at District 7,
page 407, Itawamba County, Mississippi:
1850 Itawamba County, Mississippi Census
District 7; Page 407A; Household #399/399
Webb, William J. 28 M Farmer TN (no amount listed for real estate property)
Webb, Mary 22 F NC
Webb, Martha 5 F MS
Webb, David 3 M MS
Webb, Benjamin L. 1 M MS
The couple continued to live in the Gum community of Itawamba County for a few more years and on April 14, 1851, they had Armendia J. Webb, followed by William Jefferson Webb, Jr. on August 17, 1854. But Billy Jr. did not live very long, passing away in 1858. By then the family had moved back into the edge of Marion County, Alabama along with John and Mary Paschall. While back in Marion County, their family continued to grow. James Montgomery Webb was born December 9th, 1856; John Coatland Webb (named after his mother's brother) on June 7, 1857; and L.T. Webb, who did not live past his youth, on April 12th, 1862.
By 1860 all the living children were still at home but they had also lost Benjamin. The Paschalls were living next door, and as Mary and Nettie continued to have children, they must have grown up in a very large extended family, uncles and aunts with nieces and nephews of the same ages.
1860 Marion County, Alabama, Census
Page 523 - Pikeville
Wm. J. Webb 32 M Farmer b. in Tenn
Mahala 25 F NC
Martha 14 F MS
David 12 M MS
Minda 8 F MS
Wm 5 M MS
John 4 M AL
James 1 M AL
Billy's brother Hiram Jackson and Hiram's father-in-law Zachariah Tooten also lived in the next two homes. Billy seems to have been close to Zachariah Tooten as they lived near each other back in Tennessee when he was very young. Two of Zachariah's daughters would also marry two of Billy's nephews, sons of Billy's older sister Lucinda Webb, wife of Thomas Evans. The Evans, Tootens, and Webbs lived very close to each other in Marion County and many of their descendants intermarried. One of Billy's great great grandsons, David Lyndon Webb even married one of Lucinda and Thomas Evans' great great great granddaughters, Daryl Lynn Morgan: my father and mother.
After moving back to Itawamba County at the beginning of the Civil War, Billy and Nettie had an unexpected surprise in the spring months of 1863. Twin girls were born on April 9th, Sarah Lou Genie Webb and Mary Lou Raney Webb. It must have been a blessing for the family and thankfully it occurred in early 1863, for Nettie's father Benjamin, though he did see his twin granddaughter before his death, did not live through the year.
It does not appear as though many family members took part in the Civil War. One of Billy's brothers, James, actually joined the Union cause and was forced to move north during or right after the war. Considering that extreme northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama was home to some of the most adament non-seccesionists in the South, it should not be too surpising that some inhabitants of Marion or Itawamba Counties did not wish to join the southern cause. None of the family members owned slaves that we know of, though they were all farmers. Nettie's family came from a long line of Moravians, a faith which abstained from involvement in any war.
After the war, on September 1st, 1867, Ophelia Webb was born to Billy and Nettie. The 1870 census recorded the family this way:
1870 Itawamba County, Mississippi Census
Page 426B, Township 10; House 215/215
Webb, William 47 M W Farmer $300 $300 Tennessee
Webb, Nettie 43 F W Keeping House North Carolina
Webb, David 21 M W Farm Laborer Mississippi
Webb, Mindy 16 F W At Home Mississippi
Webb, John 13 M W Farm Laborer Mississippi
Webb. James 11 M W Farm Laborer Mississippi
Webb, Sarah 7 F W At Home Mississippi
Webb, Mary 7 F W At Home Mississippi
Webb, Ophelia 3 F W At Home Missisippi
In 1870, on September 20th, Lucius Moman Webb was born, the last of their children. It was probably shortly after his birth that his grandmother, Mary Rebecca Blalock Webb Paschall, passed away in Lamar County, Alabama. In 1880, they are on a state tax list in Itawamba County, but I have searched high and low and cannot come up with anything that resembles him living not only in Itawamba County, but anywhere in the country!
Slowly Billy and Nettie's children were married and left home while grandchildren were born. Shortly after the marriage of their youngest child, Moman, the family experienced an awful tragedy. Billy's nephew Jack, son of his brother John G. Webb, had killed his own brother Dumas and fled west. By this point however, all their children had reached adult ages and Billy and Nettie continued to live peaceful lives in Itawamba County until August of 1899, when Nettie passed away at the age of 72. Billy moved in with Moman and his family around this time.
In 1900, Billy and the single daughter Mindy were living with his son Moman at Beat 5, Clay Precint, Page 238, Itawamba Co., Mississippi.
1900 Itawamba County, MS Census
Clay Precinct, Beat 5
Webb, Moman Head W M Sept. 1871 28 M 4 MS, TN, NC Farmer Can read & write
Webb, Easter Wife W F Oct. 1885 [sic] 24 M 4 (2 of 2 children still living) MS, Unk., MS Can read & write
Webb, Ozema Dau. W FOct. 1896 3 S MS, MS, MS
Webb, Harliss Son W M June 1898 1 S MS, MS, MS
Webb, William J. Father W M July 1821 78 Wd TN, TN, TN Can read & write
Webb, Mindy Sister W F Apr. 1853 47 S MS, TN, NC Can read & write
They were living right next to Billy's daughter Sarah Lou
Genie Webb Franks and her husband, Rob Franks.
He lived with Moman for a few years more on Lick Skillet Creek in Itawamba County. In February of 1907, Moman had another daughter, but Billy was probably already ill. He passed away in July from unknown causes, but it is possible that Typhoid Fever was the agent, for Moman died at the age of 37, five months later from that disease. They were both interred at the Clover-Ridge Cemetery in Itawamba County, Mississippi not far from the place they lived most of their entire lives.
Armendia "Amanda/Mindy" Jane Webb (never married)
Martha Adeline Webb (md. Richard H. Bowen)
David D. Webb (md. Nancy A. Ford & Mary Ann West)
Benjamin L. Webb (died at age three)
William Jefferson "Willie" Webb, Jr. (died at age three)
James "Jim" Montgomery Webb (md. Lydia Ann "Lilly" Bowen)
John Coatland "Joch" Webb (md. Mary Alice Williams)
L. T. Webb (died at age two)
Sarah Lou Genie Webb (md. Haron "Rob" Franks)
Mary Lou Raney "Loraine" Webb (md. William John Henry Owen Brown)
Ophelia "Phillie" Rebecca Webb (md. Joseph Leonard "J. L." Hughes, Jr.)
Lucius Moman Webb
(md. Easter Diane Truelove)